Summer 2021 Editors’ Choice: Highland Park, Dewar’s, Amrut

In each issue of Whisky Advocate, the editors select three whiskies they consider to be the most impressive, based on score, price, and availability. For Summer 2021, two of our Editors’ Choice selections—one single malt and one blended—are from Scotland, and one is a single malt from India.

Check out the Buying Guide for a complete list of whiskies reviewed in the Summer 2021 issue.

Standout Whiskies from Summer 2021

Highland Park 12 year old Viking Honour
92 points, 43%, $55

A whiff of peat and a maritime breeze of salt air, seashells, and beach bonfire embers, drifting into tropical notes of lime and pineapple, as well as baked apples. Sweetness on the palate, with a dash of peat atop vanilla cream, graham cracker, milk chocolate, zesty lime, and espresso beans. Water brings out fruit notes of melon, strawberries, and red apples, and the finish settles things with a back note of cocoa and a bang of winter spice. —David Fleming

amrut bagheeraAmrut Bagheera Sherry Cask
91 points, 46%, $65

With the magnificent Mysore Palace on its label, and a nose of garam masala, overripe banana, coffee bean, hazelnut, and prune juice, this is definitely an Amrut to experience. Flavors ebb and flow through cereal notes, Agen prunes, raisins, vanilla essence, dried fruits, stewed apple, and dark autumnal fruits, all underpinned by glittering spicy base notes. It finishes with cola-flavored candy, dwindling sweetness, and encroaching leathery notes. —Jonny McCormick

Dewar’s 8 year old Japanese Smooth
91 points, 40%, $25

The Dewar’s 8 year old line is developing into one of the best series in contemporary blending. This noses of vanilla sponge cake, roasted spices, exotic woods, lemongrass stalks, walnuts, and spun sugar nests. Vanilla, honey, yellow apple, lemongrass, and some understated herbal notes; the smoothness is noteworthy, and its glossy mouth-coating finish is studded with spices. —Jonny McCormick

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